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The Craigellachie distillery was founded by Alexander Edward. Edward bought the land from his father David, owner of Benrinnes distillery. Working with Peter Mackie of White Horse, Alexander’s new distillery was producing spirit by 1891 but the young man’s vision was far from complete.
When Alexander’s father passed away in 1893, he inherited Benrinnes and created a consortium to whom he sold it for £32,000. At the age of just 29, the young man was something of a celebrity with a record of his 1894 travels to Tangiers and Morroco published in the National Guardian.
Upon his return to Craigellachie, Alexander became driven with a desire to capitalise on the growing tourism trade and purchased the local brick and tile works. Using the works, he began constructing a range of villas that could be rented out for the summer. His plans culminated in the building of the Craigellachie Hotel which gave wealthy English tourists a base of class and sophistication from whence to enjoy the local countryside.
Throughout its history, the Craigellachie spirit has predominantly been used for blended Scotch but in 2014 a new range of single malt bottlings were unveiled. The 13 year old is bottled at 46% ABV and is available in the UK for around £45 a bottle.
Smell: Vanilla, Cream, Barley Grain, Honey, Orange, Pineapple and Caramel.
Taste: Vanilla, Honey and Caramel, Sea Salt and Pepper, finished with a subtle hint of Smoke.
Thoughts: Craigellachie’s 13-year-old is usually available for around £45. That’s not a bad price to pay, given its age and strength. It’s a cracking wee dram – fully flavoured with a subtle complexity. Craigellachie is, for me, one of the more interesting distilleries in the Speyside region. It produces a characterful, meaty spirit, thanks largely to its worm tubs and it matures into an intriguing dram, worthy of a place in any collection.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.